The rise in remote work has forced millions of people across the globe to redesign their home office with better, more powerful, more professional PC hardware. Dell’s Latitude 5420 seems a perfect fit, promising business-grade features at a price that, if not affordable, is at least obtainable.
Dell Latitude 5420 Specifications
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10610U
- Graphics: Intel UHD
- Memory: 16GB
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Display: 14-inch 1920 x 1080 non-touch matte display
- Ports: 2x ThunderBolt 4 with PowerDelivery and DisplayPort mode, 2x USB-A 3.2, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm audio combo jack, SDcard reader, SmartCard slot
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
- Battery: 63 watt-hour
- Charger: 90 watts
- Weight: 3.03 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.675 x 8.5 x .76 inches
- Warranty: One-year limited warranty
The specifications for Dell Latitude 5420 in our store starts with a modest Intel Core i5 processor.
That puts the Latitude 5420 in the big leagues.
What we like
The Dell Latitude 5420 has an outstanding keyboard that takes full advantage of the laptop’s thick profile. Key travel is long and ends in a firm action with plenty of feedback, which makes touch typing a breeze. You’ll immediately move at full speed with no worry that missed keystrokes might lead to unexpected typos.
This is a 14-inch laptop with no numpad, so the keyboard layout is spacious enough that most owners won’t feel cramped. The left-side Tab, Caps Lock, and Shift keys are large for a laptop of this size, which is a boon for general office productivity. The shift and tab keys are frequently used to access hotkeys in Office or swap between apps.
Keyboard backlighting is standard on all Latitude 5420 models. There are only three brightness options, including off. It does the job, however, and isn’t overly bright at the maximum setting.
Plenty of ports, new and old
Need to connect a ton of devices to your laptop? The Dell Latitude 5420 has you covered.
Modern connectivity is provided by twin Thunderbolt 4 ports with Power Delivery and DisplayPort mode. These versatile ports can connect to a variety of USB-C or Thunderbolt devices, can charge the laptop, and can power an external monitor.
The included charger uses one of these ports to charge the laptop, but you can also charge it with a USB-C monitor or pass power through a USB-C hub or dock that supports power delivery.
There are plenty of ports for older devices. Our test unit had two USB-A 3.2 ports, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, and a SDcard reader.
Some models, including our test unit, have a SmartCard reader. Never heard of it? SmartCard is a form of physical authentication large organizations use for IT security. It’s not much use in a home office, and the reader is optional.
All-day battery life
A 63 watt-hour battery powers the Dell Latitude 5420. That’s not massive, but it feels above average in 2021. Most premium and luxury laptops have cut battery size in an effort to reduce weight.
The size of the battery, combined with the laptop’s lack of energy-sapping features like a 4K display or dedicated graphics chip, is good news for portability. Our standard battery test, which uses a script to simulate real-world web browsing, ran for nine hours and 31 minutes before the last watt ran dry.
That beats other long-lasting Windows laptops we’ve recently tested, such as Lenovo’s Yoga 9i and the Razer Book 13. Most owners can expect the Latitude 5420 to endure a full workday of constant use on the go.
Apple Silicon still has it beat, though. The MacBook Pro we recently tested handled 14 hours of our battery life, a full four and a half hours more than the Latitude 5420.
The speakers sound powerful
Audio quality is not where we’d expect the Latitude 5420 to excel. Work laptops often don’t prioritize audio, and this laptop makes no claims about enhanced sound.
Yet the speakers are enjoyable. They have a clear, crisp quality with a hint of bass. We’d say they’re on par with a quality $50 Bluetooth speaker. They’re not mind-blowing, but they’re enough to defeat most small laptops and good news if you like to work to a beat.
The Dell Latitude 5420 has a standard one-year warranty against manufacturer defects.